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Research Interests

Development Economics, Religion, Demography, Education


Sriya received a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2000); Serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture; Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Awarded a Population Council Social Science Research Fellowship (1998-1999), a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2000-2003), and grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust, and the Cambridge-INET Institute. She was awarded a University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2014.

Recent Publications

Published Papers

Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, Journal of Economic Literature, forthcoming (2022)
Fan, J., Friedman, D., Gair, J., Iyer, S., Redlicki, B. and Velu, C. A Simulation Study of How Religious Fundamentalism Takes Root, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2021) vol 192 pp. 465-481
Velu, C. and Iyer, S. Learning From Near Misses from Covid 19, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021) vol 118 no. 40
Iyer, S. and Weeks, M. Social Interactions, Ethnicity, Religion and Fertility in Kenya, Journal of Demographic Economics (2020)
Chaudhary, L., Rubin, J., Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Culture and Colonial Legacy: Evidence from Public Goods Games, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (2020) vol 173 pp. 107-129
Fruehwirth, J., Iyer, S. and Zhang, A. Religion and Depression in Adolescence, Journal of Political Economy (2019) vol 127 no. 3 pp. 1178-1209
Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Religious Riots and Electoral Politics in India, Journal of Development Economics (2018) vol 131 pp. 104-122

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Gair, J. R., Iyer, S. and Velu, C. Probabilistic Choice Models, (2021) CWPE2102
Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom, (2020) CWPE2084
Ticku, R., Shrivastava, A. and Iyer, S. Economic Shocks and Temple Desecrations in Medieval India, (2018) CWPE1862
Chaudhary, L., Rubin, J., Iyer, S. and Shrivastava, A. Culture and Colonial Legacy: Evidence from Public Goods Games , (2018) CWPE1855
Iyer, S., Shrivastava, A., Ticku, R. Holy Wars? Temple desecrations in Medieval India, (2017) CWPE1705

Authored Book

Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in India, (2018) - Harvard University Press
Iyer, S. Demography and Religion in India, (2002) - Oxford University Press

Chapter in Book

Iyer, S. and Rosso, G. Religion and Mental Health, (2022), forthcoming in Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Edited by Klaus Zimmermann - Springer
Iyer, S. The Economics of Religion in Developing Countries, (2020), forthcoming in Religion and Flourishing. Edited by A. Cohen - Baylor University Press
Iyer, S. Religion and Demography, (2019), forthcoming in Advances in the Economics of Religion. Edited by J-P Carvalho, Sriya Iyer, J Rubin - Palgrave Macmillan
Iyer, S. Religion and Institutions, (2018), in A Research Agenda for the New institutional Economics. Edited by Claude Menard, Mary Shirley - Edward Elgar Publishers
Iyer, S., Joshi, S. and Do, Q. Why marry a cousin? Insights from Bangladesh, (2013), in Marrying in South Asia: Shifting Concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalising World. Edited by Ravinder Kaur, Rajni Parliwala - Orient Blackswan

Edited Books

eds. Carvalho, J-P, Iyer, S. and Rubin, J. Advances in the Economics of Religion, (2019) - Palgrave Macmillan

Research Activities

Religious Composition of India
Dr. Sriya Iyer has given expert advice to a new Pew Research Center report saying all religious groups in India show major declines in fertility rates, limiting change in the country’s religious composition over time.
Published on - Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Southern India Leads the Way to Tolerance
The Wall Street Journal has picked up on the latest report from the Pew Research Center, which features expert advice from Dr. Sriya Iyer.
Published on - Monday 12th July 2021

Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation
A new report from the Pew Research Center analyses religious change and its impact on societies around the world.
Published on - Wednesday 30th June 2021

Making Economic Sense of Religion
Dr. Sriya Iyer was interviewed for The Review of Religions magazine, where they asked her about the economics of religion, why she thinks religion matters to economics, and if religion and happiness are correlated.
Published on - Sunday 14th March 2021

Dr Sriya Iyer Appointed Keynes Fund Deputy Director
Dr Sriya Iyer has been appointed Deputy Director of the Keynes Fund, which promotes quality research in economics and finance at the University of Cambridge.
Published on - Monday 8th February 2021

Research Grants

The Next RES Research Initiative: Expanding the Advancements Made in the Economic Study of Religion and Religious Markets (John Templeton Foundation)
Modernizing The Madrasa In India (Isaac Newton Trust)

Keynes Fund Affiliation & Sponsored Projects

Deputy Director of the Keynes Fund

Iyer, S., Cavalcanti, T. V. D. and Rauh, C., How Important are Religious Organisations as Insurance? (JHOT)
Iyer, S., Bahal, G. and Shrivastava, A., Religion and Covid-19 (JHUW)


PI Paper 4 - Lent - Political and Social Institutions
PIIB Paper 8 - Themes in Development Economics
MPhil S500 Development
MPhil F530 Venture Capital

PhD Students


Jamie Moore
PhD Title:
Research: Microeconometrics, Machine Learning, Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics, and Networks


Benjapon Prommawin
PhD Title: An Essay on International Reserves Adequacy for Emerging Asian Countries

Professor Sriya Iyer

Professor of Economics

Research Group:
Empirical Microeconomics

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Personal Site:

Contact Details
Room: 40
Office Hours: Email for appointment
College: Fellow of St. Catharine's College

Women in Economics